Last Non-Direct Click Attribution Model in Google Analytics

The last non-direct click attribution model assigns 100% of the credit for conversions to the last non-direct interaction on a conversion path

Google Analytics uses this model by default for non-multi-channel funnel reports. 

Direct traffic is not really a traffic source or a marketing channel. It is an action taken by your users which is the result of the impact of marketing activity. 

So you should not be assigning credit for conversions to direct traffic. 

Consequently, you should consider using the last non-direct click model instead of the last click model.

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The technological limitation associated with the last non-direct click model

There is one technological limitation associated with the last non-direct click model which you must be aware of. 

In Google Analytics, whenever a referrer is not passed, the traffic is reported as direct traffic. 

So there may be instances where the direct traffic is not really direct but is actually the traffic from organic search, paid search, referrals etc. 

In that case, a direct interaction recorded on a conversion path may not be the actual direct interaction but some other interaction. 

Consequently, the last non direct click may not be the actual non direct click. 

The following example will help you to understand how the conversion credit is calculated in the case of the last non direct click attribution model. 

Consider the following conversion path with a path length of four:

conversion path1 5

This conversion path can also be represented by the following data table:

data table 1 4

Under the last non-direct click model, the last non-direct interaction gets 100% credit for the conversion. The last non-direct interaction here is a referral. So, the referral gets 100% credit for the conversion. 

Now the conversion credit distribution would look like the one below:

conversion credit distribution 1 5

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About the Author

Himanshu Sharma

  • Founder, OptimizeSmart.com
  • Over 15 years of experience in digital analytics and marketing
  • Author of four best-selling books on digital analytics and conversion optimization
  • Nominated for Digital Analytics Association Awards for Excellence
  • Runs one of the most popular blogs in the world on digital analytics
  • Consultant to countless small and big businesses over the decade
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